Dissecting The Knicks’ Problems

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – In the midst of the Knicks’ current malaise, any and everyone with an opinion and an outlet has weighed in on what is wrong with this team.

Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni had a simple explanation for their surprising offensive woes, telling Jonathan Abrams of the New York Times:

“The ball is not moving, it’s sticking. We’ve played a lot of games. I don’t want to give excuses, but at the same time it’s the fourth game in five nights. They get into you … We’ve got to make quicker decisions. The ball’s got to go. And especially in the fourth quarter we bogged down.”

They better not get bogged down again with the Orlando Magic in town tonight (8 p.m. ET, ESPN) for yet another major test of the Knicks’ mettle.

We haven’t decided to write the Knicks off just yet. We also didn’t have these super-sized expectations for the Knicks after that blockbuster Carmelo Anthony/Chauncey Billups trade either, so that might have something to do with our patience with D’Antoni’s Knicks.

Knicks boss Donnie Walsh should stop apologizing as well. He’d have been nuts to pass up the opportunity to get his hands on Anthony sooner rather than later, if at all.

Granted, a .500 team (35-35) at this stage of the game isn’t exactly anything to get excited about. But this isn’t just about here and right now for the Knicks. Adding Anthony to their mix was about the future, a future that involves both he and Amar’e Stoudemire leading a hoops revival in New York that will go on for at least the next five to six seasons.

These humble beginnings will actually be a good thing in the long run. Most people don’t see it now, but trust us, sometimes it’s good to get the stumbles out of the way now. Getting smashed up by the Celtics on Monday, stitches and all, will provide the Knicks with some lessons they might not had learned otherwise.

Anthony, despite being battered and bruised, including stitches above one eye, is staying the course … as Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports:

“I have faith, I believe that something will turn around quickly,” Anthony said Tuesday. “We have a little bit under a month to get this thing right to get ready for the playoffs. And right now, we’re just figuring it out on the go.

“As long as we figure it out by the time the playoffs come, I’m not really too concerned about what’s going on right now and how it’s going on. Losing games can be a little bit frustrating at times, but that happens, especially when you’re trying to get things right and you’re trying to get things on the same page.”

65 Comments

  1. Mark says:

    I’m sorry, but the Knicks went from being a team of basketball players, playing their hearts out for each other, to being a team all about the individual… It’s no coincidence that Amar’e’s production has gone down, that Landry Fields’s production has gone down… If Carmelo really cared about winning he would have waited until the end of the season, he would have sacrificed some of his ridiculous income to join a strong team… Not demanded a trade that gutted the depth of the team he was joining, just so he could get his max salary… The Knicks have lost me because they pandered to a guy that doesn’t care about the team game… At least Miami’s big three all made sacrifices to put the pieces together on South Beach… Can you imagine the Knicks starting 2011/12 (whenever it starts) with Felton running the D’Antoni offense (which he proved so well-equipped to do), Fields continuing to improve his all-round game, Anthony actually being used on the wing in a pure scoring role, Gallinari starting at the four running the court and stretching defenses, and Stoudemire bringing his aggressiveness to the interior… Not to mention Wilson Chandler and Toney Douglas coming off the bench at a squillion miles an hour… Sure, they might struggle against teams with length – but teams with length don’t tend to be fast teams, and I reckon such teams would be breathing pretty heavy come the stretch… Anyway, I’m sure ‘Melo will enjoy high-fiving Jared Jeffries and Bill Walker each time he scores 30 points against the Cavaliers – and they still lose…

  2. Kevin says:

    Bottom line – Dolan made a mistake and forced Walsh’s hand. The knicks could have and should have waited Melo out. They gave up too much young talent that they could have had next year along side Melo. If they had waited they could have traded galinari, still had melo,Ray Felton, chandler and Mozgov and gotten more weapons (players or draft picks) from the galinari trade.

    Melo was not goingto stay in Denver – no matter what – His Wife wanted to be in NY (for her career) and that was a major factor. Gotta keep the Wifey happy – any married man can cosign on that one!

    The Knicks are a mess and have been that way ever since they dogged Patrick ewing10 years ago. – check the record – “Stinko!”

    I used to love this franchise now they are a JOKE!!!!

  3. ariel_1 says:

    Amare is out of his place right now due to the entrance of Melo. Amare was very very very good during the start of the season until the trade. He scores a lot, He took rebounds already, Hes blocking shots already and hes teammates where widely open in the 3′s because of his presence in the paint. He looks like Howard in Orlando.. Amare already proven to us that he deserves to be in NY, but for Melo? well take the rest of this season to find out.

  4. Denver Dude says:

    New York will be disappointed. Melo is good enough to keep you mediocre. Somebody mentioned that the Knicks Defense is getting better. The truth is that just because they have given up less points is because ball hog Melo is on Offense… Slowing down what is supposed to happen with D’Antoni’s offense. Good luck, but say good bye to D’Antoni. He’s a good coach, but with uncoachable players like Amare and Melo and he’ll be the first scape goat.

  5. hatebreed says:

    I think guys you have give melo time to adjust..like jordan to the bulls, it takes 6-7 years before he got his first ring. Save your comments and read it again a year or two once the knicks are a very good team. If you are really a knick fan, you should have a faith in your team. what ever happens. you have to Believe-have faith.
    Im a boston fan, i dont care who players are leaving and coming, it just the team boston itself i love, whoever the player is. I still believe in them.

    Nuggets are good for now, just wait for them to play to the tougher teams then try to grade their performances. Lets see how knicks and nuggets respond to the playoffs.

  6. Dom Asp says:

    The biggest problem with the new look Knicks is Carmelo. He’s not a team oriented player and all of the good feelings and great vibes that started with our new leader, STAT, have dissipated. Reason; Mr. Ego is in the building. I wish this trade never happened. It ruined team chemistry and STAT can no longer be the kind of leader the Knicks need. Simply because Melo doesn’t want to be led. (Nor does he want to lead.) He’s too busy worrying about stats. No, not STAT, stats!

  7. Jazz44 says:

    It doesn’t matter how they play, how many win they could get. The Madison Square will always crowded.
    The NY Big3 protects the pride that newyorkers needed for quite some time. Yeh! now they’ve got stars.

  8. bun says:

    ` knicks suck. they were better without carmelo

  9. Billy Bob Joe says:

    Hey! Hey!

    Melo Chauncey & Amar’e Rock!! And Chauncey’s got this! Talk to the Ring!!!

    Sheesh! Fair weather fans! Jall need fan therapy!

  10. jmk says:

    S Why all the drama and rush going on in the media? Who thought they were going to win a ring after all the years in the gutter? The team has to grow and is not gonna happen in one month, Are the fans gonna be disappointed if they do not get the conference title? I do not think so

  11. Beyondthecicle says:

    Have u people forgotten that Melo carried his team to western conference finals already. What he is going through with the Knicks is growing pains, they will figure it out. U r talking about one of the top 5 players in the league along with Stat things r going to turn around by time playoffs start. Please believe me…….

    • Tertiary Character says:

      I don’t doubt that things will turn around for the Knicks, However, you should remember that the Nuggets only ever made it past the first round with Melo after Chauncey Billups arrived. Melo didn’t carry that team; they shared that burden. People rarely give Billups the credit he deserves.

      As an aside, is there a reason that when the Knicks start having struggles, this blog is very supportive, yet when the Heat had gone through their struggles, this blog spelled doom for them?

      • SDOT says:

        Well it seems like this blog is the only place that is supportive (most likely cause they dont want to be wrong again about superstars being able to join forces) but just look at the video on the page no one thinks that the Knicks can turn it around. Just like everyone wrote off the heat after the first month

  12. dean mohi says:

    SHAWN WILLIAMS IS A BIG JOKE ANOTHER JEROME JAMES . TIME TO GET RID OF HIM

  13. johnny blaze says:

    no way why spell check . school system doesnt care so why should these fools .

  14. obrutal says:

    does anyone spell check their comments?

  15. Phil says:

    When the article says “these humble beginnings will actually be a good thing in the long run”, it ignores the salary constraints. Differently from Lebron+Wade+Bosh, Stat and Melo wanted the maximum salary; together, they will cost 40M$ next year, while the Heat trio costs now 42M$.
    This fact alone rules out any chance for NY to make a run for the title. You simple cannot build a winning team when 2 players takes 70% of the salary cap, and the other are paid nuts.

    • Kingsfan says:

      I agree with you Phil. That was the one smart thing the Big 3 did, they took a pay cut to leave enough to get some important role players. Granted the Heat still need those so called important role players. The Knicks will have hardly any cap room to pick up the pieces they will need to compete next year. If I were them, I would look at trading Billups and picking up Paul at a discounted price. Then they would at least have a facilitator for the big 2 greedy hands.

  16. david green says:

    D’Antoni’s excuses in the first part of the article points out his biggest flaws!the 8 man rotation and small ball has ran the knicks players into the ground and thats his fault and nobody else.He has major subsitution problems n plays the wrong players like JJeffries,his choice with all the other players that was available.he’s doesn’t call his T/O’s in time to control the game,look at him tonight its like he out of it!doesn’t argue calls for his players just sits there

  17. Wolf Vargas says:

    Honestly i thought that the knicks would be doing a lot better then they have been lately. On the other hand, they got a franchise player to compliment Amare for years to come, the only mistake i see is them getting billups. they should have dropped him out of the deal and kept felton or galinari(if that’s how you spell it). Also you can’t blame the Knicks for not playing defense, when their Head Coach obciously has never believed in it. I’m A Heat Fan, and i have been since D-Wade joined that team, and i saw the time it took them to work out their problems and get on track, i’m sure the knicks will hit their stride come playoff time because i doubt that Melo and Amare wasted this whole year just to lose in the 1st round. good luck to the team that faces them in the playoffs, cz they will have their hands full.

  18. helenar says:

    I think they need a new coach…players are hesitant, afraid they will make a mistake. Plays should be quick and spontaneous, not stuck in a railroad track. The Celtics were excellent in the last quarter of the game against the Knicks – no second guessing or holding the ball around the arc while figuring out what to do. Celtics were fluid and flawless in the last quarter, and it did not look like they were doing “plays” at all – just great basketball.

  19. Ktouch says:

    I think the major problem with the Knicks is that their superstars don’t defend as well as they should. Everything starts from your best player(s) and defense wins championships. Yes, they’ll be a better team in the long run regardless, but if the two superstars don’t start to defend players at a higher level, I don’t see how a Championship will come to New York. Using other fellow stars as example, Bryant has been a NBA All-Defense team player god knows when. Lebron’s defense has improved throughout the years and he is getting more successful. Wade is another good example of how it’s done. If you take a look at how hard Wade works on defense, you’ll see a significant difference between him and any of the Knick superstars. In the long run, aside from getting players that plays defense to compensate for the two superstars, they need a coach that has a defensive mindset so the Knicks can actually contend for a championship. Look at the Chicago Bulls for example…the main piece they added was Boozer, but he was never a good defensive player. However, their coach (and Rose’s improvement) has really taken the team to another level on the defensive end is now th best in the league. I like coach D’Antonio, but he just doesn’t have the formula to go all the way.

    • Kingsfan says:

      @ Ktouch – You hit the nail on the head with the coach issue. Granted Knicks do not have the team right now to do anything other than hover around .500, they won’t be in contention with for a title with an offensive minded coach that doesn’t know what defense is. If they get some pieces (work horse like Noah, wing defender like brewer or battier, solid shooter that’s not named billups) and learn how to play with in the teams defensive strategy, they might have a chance.

  20. bylaw99 says:

    Have to agree with Hadley, the issue with New York is you have Carmelo who isnt a defensive player only offense and Amari is similar although he’s gotten better w/NY but unlike Miami who have offensive weapons their bulk of offense is because of defensive stops and fast breaks. Once LBJ understands that Miami is Wades team they will be unstoppable.

  21. LETSGETITON says:

    look. 1st of all melo traded to new york not only because he wanted too, but the new york gave up too much for him and thats what the nuggets management wanted. Melo will never be a free agent because the denver will not release him at the end of a season for nothing in return. Its either trade to NY or NJ. got it ? so dont blame melo for that “financial issues”. Do you really think that the Denver will release him and got nothing in return like LBJ ? wtf

  22. Hadley Hornig says:

    I can’t believe that even NBA analysts are suggesting it, but allegedly, the Heat and Knicks are very much alike, and people believe that since the Heat eventually broke out of their rut, then the Knicks can. There is a significant difference however, in these two teams that make them worlds apart: defense. The Heat were fortunate in being able to build their systems for offense and other things around a top 3 defense. When they finally get their offense running, (and stop letting LBJ get the last shot) this team will be a title contender for at least 4 years. The Knicks have no such defense to build around. All they have is the potential to become the number one offense in the League. However, explosive offense doesn’t win championships; rather, it’s defense. With almost no defense to speak of besides Turiaf and maybe Fields, this team will continue to be incredibly inconsistent.

  23. messi says:

    DWIGHT HOWARD!

    • MPHO SETLHONG says:

      MELO SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO HIS BROTHER KOBE AT THE PLAYOFFS WEN HE TLD HIM LAKERS IS GOOD FOR YOU NOW HE IS JUST RUINING KNICKS REAPING ITS DREAMS APART!!!THIS IS NOT GONNA WORK FOR THEM

  24. D-co says:

    The Knicks are terrible. The trade has made them an awful defensive team. Not to mention they traded away every young good player they had. It is hilarious to me to think that the Knicks believe they have a rivalry with the Celtics. The Celtics are a championshp-calibur team, the Knicks are a lottery-calibur team. Big difference. ProteinPeanuts.com

  25. Jello Anthony says:

    carmelo anthony is a joke.. demanding things like he can bring a championship to wherever he goes to.. he is just a lebron wannabe.. poor chauncey, he wanted to retire in denver but got dragged into a stupid trade..

  26. josh says:

    i dont agree when this trdae took place they should have waited untill the summer, and about billups we all know what he can deliver to the knicks this postseason i think they will pull out of this if the heat can pull out of the hole so can the knicks. and in the post season in the playoffs i think the team most dangerous in my opion is the knicks with billups they dont call hime mr big shot for no reason i think they will be very dangerous anyone in the friat round and the seconed round i guess i am saying they are the team under the radar through out the playoffs

  27. REDZKIN says:

    I have a wild -wild guess why Knicks are losing games. They are looking in the match-up for the play-off. They are avoiding to be paired with the Miami heat because match-up wise that would be a big trouble for them. With either Boston or Chicago, they have a better chance man-for-man. Its better for them to be at 7th or 8th

    • Justin says:

      Dude, seriously? The Knicks will have way more trouble handling Chicago or Boston in the playoffs then they would against the Miami Hype. Who have the Hype really beaten that are legitimate at all? Basically…….No one. Knicks are overrated and won’t be good until they get a big man down low to rebound and some defense. Then, maybe with a little luck, they will be good.

      GO NUGGETS!!!

      • SDOT says:

        Honestly I would prefer to see the knicks verse the Bulls or Celtics. There is nothing like a NY Boston rivalry and I would love to see this happen in basketball now. While the Bulls are a great team and in my opinion the favorites for a title, the Knicks have already beaten them twice this year. Also it would be to bring back the Knicks-Bulls rivalry like the one in the 90s. But instead of Jordan vs Ewing its Rose vs (whoever decides to step up and become the captain)

  28. LAKERS! says:

    they should have acquire derron williams when they have the chance ^_^

  29. Kapt says:

    Time will tell about this team’s success

  30. that is false says:

    melo came to a team early because he hoped to help in the playoffs, while this may not have been a successful venture it was a plausible reason. Also the rest of new york is not crap, landry fields and fellow tradee chauncey billups provide good support for the two new york big shots. if the knicks are going to be successful it has got to be about melo and amare so the other players they dumped off to the nuggets were nessascary movements they will ,if they can pull of some summer deals, become one of the top teams in the league and with a little defensive work could become a championship winner.

    • Gus says:

      Dude you are naive and Hadley Horning is right…Melo is the one that wanted out of Denver sooner than later because of MONEY, and not because he would like to help the Knicks in the playoffs. He would probably have stayed in Denver had he not been traded prior to the deadline. Melo is a great scoring powerhouse, but that is it nothing else. Like him that were/are many other in the league: AI, T-Mac, Stat….they all put up a show, score big, great plays…but none of them are real team players. Their are selfish and for this one reason they will never lead a team to championship. Playoffs always there (seed 5,6,7..) but never a real contender…

    • dumbo says:

      Really? if Melo really cared for the knicks! he would have said ” don’t worry keep all those good players and I will join you next season” instead Melo wanted to be traded right now because Lala wante to be in NY now!!
      The knicks do not hace a supporting cast! bilups was a great player he is a great veteran!! but he is not what he used to be. fields good rookie and also playing like one ups and downs!! not enough to support the 2 stars

  31. feshman21 says:

    i think the knicks will get the win tnite if the keep playin good and stop takin alot of threes and just go to basket and make layupand they should just come tnite focus and be raedy to play basketball like u never seen before

  32. feshman21 says:

    i think the knicks will get a win soon just take it one day at a time the are strugglein like the heat when the first started and they will find a way to win

  33. Hadley Hornig says:

    I must say Zzanzabar, you make great points. However, you may correct me if I’m wrong, but I think a huge reason why Carmelo wanted it now was so that he could get his contract renewed and signed before a potential lockout with no money to speak of except what he gets at his small forward position at Whole Foods.
    I think the Knicks took Melo now rather than later due to the immense pressure that New York puts on the franchise. Almost everyone in New York was already upset with their situation and thus, demanded ‘Melo. The HUGE mistake, in my opinion, was offering up mozgov, whom the Nuggets themselves admitted that they didn’t need for the trade to succeed in the first place.
    However, I really don’t see New York in that bad of a place. I think they should consider themselves lucky they are close to .500 because that means they can get acquire a decent big man that they desparately need against the board. I’m sure in about two to three years, the Knicks are going to be looking really dangerous.
    Defense and Drama will be the key components to keep this offensive powerhouse under control.

  34. rpminc says:

    For what ever reason…Melo can’t carry a franchise. He is a great individual player but will never be a winner.

  35. Meduele Elkuloh says:

    melo was a misstake, he is selfish!! he shlud have waited to become a free agent and then join th knicks, instead he gutted the roster and came to a team with nobody else but him and amare… the rest are crap no support fro enyone else shawn williams is ajoke

    • edward baker says:

      pues a mí me duelen los cojones, macho. now, that said, the trade was a mistake. stoudemire is a shade-below-average defender, has been throughout his career, and carmelo never played defense en su puta vida. combine that with the absence of a “5″, and the paint is a free fire zone. this is a formula for losing basketball games. meanwhile, the denvers just got much better. good for them.

  36. Zzanzabar says:

    The major problem with the Carmelo Anthony trade was WHEN it happened, not how. I just don’t see why they had to trade away who they did when all they had to do was wait until the next season and get Melo straight up. It was no secret that New York was where he wanted to play, so why mortgage your future for a ‘done’ deal?

    Also everyone keeps saying that Chauncey Bullips was the extra ‘bonus’ in the trade. Well what good is veteran experience if no one (including the coach) will take it? If the ball is ‘stopping’ then isn’t it Chauncey’s role to ‘unstick’ it? Carmelo and Amare are a potent offensive duo, but they are both one dimensional and unfortunately they both share the same dimension. Carmelo cannot consistently defend and Amare wouldn’t know a rebound if it shook his hand and introduced itself to him.

    Yet the Knicks might still pull themselves out of it and make a decent show in the playoffs but I’m afraid that, unless they get a big man or two, they are destined to become the Atlantic Hawks of the Eastern Conference: perennially invited to the dance but always taking a cab home early.

    • sean says:

      i like your anylisis i think they were worried that melo might have stuck it out in denver once the season ended or something stupid like that would i happen i agree they never should of made that deal and took the risk and to add to you anylisis there scoring wouldnt be an issue if they played defense and got stops they let a celtics team struggling to mesh offensively score 96 points you dont win games like

      • prix' says:

        same stories…the main problem right now for the knicks is still they are developing chemistry…i’m sure they will have it during playoffs and upset the dirty playing aging Boston..NY is the darkhorse of the east…

    • JesseO3 says:

      Agreed. NY should have DEFINATELY called that bluff and stuck to their guns. I LOVE Billups…but Felton will be good, and probably be a star PG in a season or two.

      It is what it is tho…now they just need to hit the gym and the drawing board and actually have a GAME PLAN – seems they are playing more pick up style ball right now. And buckle down on some Defense.

      Melo and Amar e both WANTED to be in NY…now its time to PROVE u can be a NY star and do what you guys need – which is to step up the defense.

      • chris says:

        Knicks wanted Melo and Melo was not going to wait until the summer to switch team, he knew the amount of money that he was going to lose if he waited until this summer. It was very hard decision, but I believe the knicks made the right decision.

    • Joe says:

      I don’t know if u remember but our last team didn’t play defense either. When they beat good teams they outscored them like the nuggets, 129-125, and the spurs, 128-115. at least after the trade we showed signs of defense and scoring like when we played the heat, 91-86, and the hornets 107-88, and memphis 120-99. we showed a preview of what we can do in the future like the playoffs. and we do need a big man, d’antoni mentioned getting a jamaican center from europe during the summer, i looked him up and he’s averaging 15ppg, 9 rebounds, and he’s 7″1

    • Nev says:

      Melo, Chauncey, and Amare are a Big Three in their own right. While not on par with the likes of Wade, James, Bosh, they have a person who can stretch the offense in Chauncey, and Melo, and sort of a post presence in Amare. The thing that’s killing me is that the role players like Fields and Douglas have dissapeared. I believe they need to go at it like they don’t need to defer to anyone and that team will flourish…or at least do better than they are doing. Fields looked lost to me the last time I watched them and I don’t remember him being like that before Melo came. Hopefully they will make a good showing in the Playoffs, provided they are playing my Bulls, that is…

      • prix' says:

        Don’t worry Knick fans…NY will be fine in the playoffs…they could probably upset the Boston in the 1st round…

    • Elliot A says:

      WHILE I MUST AGREE REGARDING AMARE AND HIS REBOUNDING SKILLS OR LACK THERE OF. I CANNOT AGREE THAT CARMELO WOULD HAVE GONE TO NY AS A FREE AGENT. THERE WAS NO CHANCE OF THAT HAPPENING. CARMELO WAS FIRST AND FORMOST GOING TO SIGN THE EXTENSION. IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY! IF THE KNICKS WANTED HIM, THEY WERE GOING TO HAVE TO PAY FOR HIM. WITH THAT BEING SAID, NO DEAL OF THIS MAGNATUDE WILL SHOW RESULTS IN A MONTH. I CAN’T BELIEVE I AM WATCHING ALL OF THIS NONSENCE NOW! THE KNICKS WON’T KNOW THE VALUE OF THE TRADE UNTIL THE KNICKS PUT THE REST OF THE TEAM TOGETHER. WHAT, DO YOU OR ANYONE ELSE IN THE MEDIA OR IN THE WORLD BELIEVE THIS TRADE WAS MADE AND NOW THE KNICKS ARE COMPLETE? YES, THEY GOT THEIR SUPERSTAR TO GO WITH THE OTHER SUPERSTAR AND THEN????? YES, THEY NEED TO PUT THE RIGHT PIECES TO COMPLETE THE PUZZLE. DO YOU THINK THEY ACTUALLY THOUGHT THEY BUILT A CHAMPIOSHIP TEAM WITH 2 PLAYERS? THAT’S IT, THE’RE DONE? JOB COMPLETE??? ARE ALL OF YOU STUPID??? WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU IDIOTS??? LET’S BE REAL! ENOUGH SAID!

      • Kevin says:

        Melo was not going to stay in Denver. His wife wanted to be in NY for her career. so why dont you check your facts. The Knicks made a huge mistake gave up way too much. Any GM i nthe NBA will tell you the same thing.

        The Knicks stink – LOL